Of course, these design styles are not eligible for chronological seriation.For example, knives in early medieval times in Europe are said to show no chronological variation.
Following these rules, an assemblage of objects can be placed into sequence so that sites with the most similar proportions of certain styles are always together (Lock 2003, p. Creating a typology frequently is the basis of a seriation.
Seriation is a standard method of dating in archaeology.
It can be used to date stone tools, pottery fragments, and other artifacts.
The raw data are stored in an unsorted binary contingency table indicating which design style can be found in which context by a star symbol.
For example, consider the first column: context 3 contains the design styles blackrim, bottle, and handle. Contextual seriation sorts the design styles and the contexts in such a way that the star symbols are found as close as possible to the diagonal of the table.
Of course, for a small examples like this, no computer programs are needed to find the best ordering, but for larger data sets like the 900 graves studied by Petrie they are extremely helpful.